Alister Colley is a Degree Graduate of Leeds Metropolitan University. The course he attended for three years encouraged diversity and exploration and so Alister pursued his first passion, film.
It was whilst creating ‘Storyboards’ (a visual representation of a film’s narrative) that Alister rediscovered his passion for illustration.
“I loved the simplicity with which you could create your own world and tell your own story, simply by lifting a pencil or paintbrush!”
“I began to apply different techniques and explore different mediums. I started to paint and used oil paints for the first time in my life and I just fell in love with the complexity of it. I used acrylic paint and admired the total contrast. I instantaneously married the medium of acrylic with pastel; the two compliment each other and soften the immediate impact, this technique has become synonymous with my ‘Village Life’ work.”
Desperate for an income to begin recovering from the debt his studying had incurred, Alister accepted a full time position in the job he had throughout his studies, He became a Site Supervisor for a Cleaning Contractors in a department store.
“It was at that time I attended interviews many of which, contrary to the advertising, had very little if no significance in Art. Finally I had enough, at an interview described as an “In House Designer” which was in fact photocopying I made up my mind, I decided I should follow my heart and set up as a freelance illustrator.”
Working at weekends and on an evening Alister developed his Portfolio to a commercial illustrative market. Alister’s accepted the job of illustrating a children’s book his Sister had written.
“I treated that as my very first professional job and it taught me a lot, I worked to a strict timetable and kept the budget as low as possible, it was tough sometimes, due to my full time job I only had weekends and evenings and with no idea if there would be a reward at the end!”
In October 2005 Alister launched his freelance illustration business ‘Zeitgeist Illustrations’. He enjoyed immediate success, receiving commissions for Novel Covers, children’s books, C.D Covers and corporate branding.
“It was very rewarding my commitment and hard work was paying off! In between jobs I pursued my passion for painting and slowly began to approach local galleries with my oil on canvases. In late 2006 a local art distributor looked at my work and suggested that the more illustrative style would be adaptable for the galleries.”
In February of 2007 he approached his local galleries with his new adapted style based upon his Children’s books illustrations. It was instantly a success; with his artwork selling out in its first day of being exhibited, new galleries ‘knocking at the door’, features in Local and National Editorials, he has not looked back.